The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

With December comes the hectic year end and celebratory activities we’ve all come to know. Fall racing concludes, shopping commences, family & friends gather, there’s baking and more buying, and hopefully not too much stressing. The season is announced in song as, “the most wonderful time of the year!”

As an AYC member, some of my “most wonderful” land-based memories come from our December meeting and the long-standing tradition of exchanging gifts – also referred to as either the white elephant or pirate gift exchange. No matter what we call it, this gathering will bring laughter and fun to all, especially with the inclusion of nominations and voting for the biannual Blunder Bucket award winner.

It appeared we were a bit short on nominees this year until Martin Lorch nominated Mike Ferring for creating a NEW course at Lake Pleasant. After hearing Martin’s detailed nomination of Mike’s blunder, complete with diagrams and photo evidence, George Sheller took the mic to nominate Martin for his Alice’s Restaurant nomination of Mike. For those that don’t know this 1967 Arlo Guthrie song, the lyrics that caused George’s flashback go like this, “twenty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against.” It resonated accurately.

Martin with his diagrams and photos to help explain Mike Ferring’s blunder.

Hoping for more nominations, the gift exchange continued until Bob Nesbit decided to move the Blunder Bucket that was obscuring his view of the unwrapping. Approaching the table on tiptoe and slightly bent over, Bob gently picked up the trophy, and the Bucket came apart from the base – opening him up for his own blunder nomination for breaking the bucket.

During voting, the cheers and clapping indicated a near tie. Eventually, Mike Ferring’s blunder rose above the rest and he was awarded this season’s award. Read about Mike’s blunder on our Blunder Bucket Award website page. Diagrams and photos included. Click the Blunder Bucket Winners List to unscroll and read the details.

I want to thank Staff Commodore Bruce Andress for helping with the gift exchange and upping the fun with his quick wit and clever comments. And kudos to Rear Commodore Marshall Williamson for arranging the dinner with lasagna and an adult beverage option. Secretary and meeting host Lori Reger always keeps us organized. She ensured we were served the meal we ordered and had numbers for the gift exchange.

On this rainy Christmas Eve, I find myself a bit behind with my task list. As I thought of my comments for the month, no sugar plums were dancing in my head, but rather the opening words of this famous poem. Here is what came forward:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town, the rain was pouring, yes really coming down.
The sails were all flaked and resting on booms, the sailors busy wrapping cause Christmas will be soon.
With parties mostly over, and relief in sight, we’ll once again be sailing – it brings such delight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Wishing you peace, love, and joy in 2022. Oh, and some wind. We love wind.

Deb Heisler